A group supporting Charlie Crist for governor is not backing away from its attack ad on Gov. Rick Scott alleging Scott received campaign contributions from individuals who profited from oil drilling near the Everglades.
The Scott campaigned challenged the ad produced by NextGen Climate.
“The false ad by Tom Steyer’s group in support of Charlie Crist blatantly lies by saying the Governor took ‘campaign cash from driller Dan. A. Hughes,” Matt Moon, communication director for the Scott campaign wrote to reporters. “In fact, no political entity associated with Governor Scott has ever received contributions from the company.”
The ad is called “Fountain” and links Scott to oil drilling via campaign contributions from the Collier family who leased mineral rights near the Big Cypress Preserve to Hughes.
Monday, the Scott campaign released a television ad, “Fiction,” which points out that Gov. Scott “didn’t take a nickel” of money from Hughes.
NextGen Climate, which bills itself as focused on bringing climate change to the forefront of American politics, and is financed by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, won’t let the matter drop. It responded Tuesday with a statement calling the commercial a “smoke screen.”
The statement details contributions from Barron, Miles, Parker and Thomas Collier each contributions $50,000 to Scott’s Let’s Get to Work Committee. And again draws attention to their family business; Collier Resources Co. And mineral rights leased to the Dan A. Hughes Company.
“Will you acknowledge that if you follow the money it shows that your own Tricky Ricky Scott received $200,000 from oil interests whose family business was awarded the right by the Scott Administration for drilling on their land near the Everglades,” Jackie Lee of NextGen Climate wrote to the Republican Party.
Susan Hepworth is communications director for the GOP and she indicated a willingness to widen the fight to other arenas.
“This letter doesn’t make sense,” Hepworth wrote in an email exchange.
“They either didn’t watch their own ad or they are compulsive liars. The ad is beyond wrong, it’s defamatory and we continue to explore all legal options against NextGen and their donors.”